Corix will hire 20 for Fort Collins meter project

FORT COLLINS – Wisconsin-based Corix Utilities said Monday it will hire about 20 employees to install 100,000 electric and water meters for city of Fort Collins utility customers.

A team of Corix employees will move to the area and hire the technicians to complete the project, said Jeff Van Ess, Corix vice president for U.S. Measurement Services.

Employees will equip meters in homes, schools and businesses with electronic devices that enable two-way digital communication between the meter and the Fort Collins utility. The new meters will use wireless communication to eliminate the need to send a technician to customers’ homes and businesses to manually read meters.

A website will show utility usage information to individual customers in the future, according to the utility. The equipment will allow the utility to respond more quickly and efficiently to outages and provide early water leak detection.

The electric portion of the project will cost $31.4 million; a $15.7 million matching grant from the economic stimulus package will fund half the cost. Another $4 million is budgeted for the water meter project.

Customers will not see rate increases because savings generated by the project will cover its costs, according to the utility.

Corix employees will work on the project until it is completed in summer 2013, Van Ess said. Some may keep their jobs to provide support services beyond that date and as the company maintains a presence in the area for similar projects in neighboring Northern Colorado towns and cities.

“Like other projects that we do for cities like this, our hope is to stay longer and to do other support work for the community, for the city,” he said. “Hopefully it will lead to longer-term employment.”

Employees will work in city facilities and Corix will rent other space that it may need, Van Ess said.

Corix has installed more than 12 million smart meters throughout North America.

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